Well, it took eight days, but now it’s official: Rep. David Davis (R-Tenn.) finally conceded defeat to primary challenger Phil Roe on Friday. Davis, a freshman congressman representing the rural eastern chunk of the state, had considered challenging the results, which put Roe ahead by just 486 votes out of more than 51,000 cast. He accused Democrats of crossing party lines to secure his defeat, hoping perhaps that Roe would be a less formidable candidate in November. (In that conservative district, it won’t matter. All signals point to a Roe win later this year). Davis’s words, from The Hill:
“I am announcing today that even though I have the law on my side, I have decided not to pursue an election contest with the Republican Primary Board,” Davis said. “I love East Tennessee and I love America, therefore it is in the best interest of everyone concerned that I concede the election to my primary opponent. I have contacted Mr. Roe and made him aware of my decision.”
Roe, the conservative mayor of Johnson City, had nonetheless attacked from the left, charging Davis with cozying up to big oil interests by accepting industry money. The verdict remains out on the extent to which that association contributed to Davis’s demise, but his participation in the GOP energy revolt this month probably didn’t help.
Davis’s defeat is the fourth for a Republican congressional incumbent this year.
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